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Lyr Add: Ba Low (Balow) , Lullaby

Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Oct 04 - 10:38 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Oct 04 - 11:35 PM
Mary in Kentucky 08 Oct 04 - 08:04 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Oct 04 - 03:43 PM
keberoxu 28 Jul 18 - 06:29 PM
keberoxu 28 Jul 18 - 07:00 PM
keberoxu 29 Jul 18 - 03:09 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Ba Low (Balow) , Lullaby
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 10:38 PM

Words, Eugene Field; music Mary Southwick.

Hush, dinna greit,
Moder will rocke her sweete Balow, my boy,
Balow, Balow, my boy, Balow.
When that his toile has been done,
Daddie will come to his own
Hush then my lytelle one,
Balow, my boy, Balow.

Soe bonnie dinna greit,
Moder doth rocks her sweete Balow my boy,
Blow, Balow, my boy, Balow,
Give me thy lyttle hand
Moder will hold it and lead thee,
Lead thee to Balow land,
Balow, my boy, Balow.

From sheet music, 1905, copyright Tolbert R. Ingram Music Co., Denver, CO. (Chas. Sheard, London). BaLow Slumber Song

The lullaby owes the name to the anonymous and much more meaty 16c. song, "Balow." I don't know whether Field used an old text as a starting point, or was attempting old dialect.

Lyr. Add: BALOW

Balow, my babe, lie still and sleep!
It grieves me sore o see thee weep.
Wouldst thou be quiet I'se be glad,
Thy mourning makes my sorrow sad:
Balow my boy, thy mother's joy,
Thy father breeds me great annoy-
Balow, la-low!

When he began to court my love,
And with his sugred words me move,
His faynings false and flattering cheer
To me that time did not appear:
But now I see most cruellye
He cares ne for my babe nor me-
Balow, la-low!

Lie still, my darling, sleep awhile,
And when thou wak'st thoo'le sweetly smile:
But smile not as thy father did,
To cozen maids: nay, God forbid!
But yet I fear thou wilt go near
Thy father's heart and face to bear-
Balow, la-low!

I cannot choose but ever will
Be loving to thy father still;
Where'er he go, where'er he ride,
My love with him doth still abide;
In weal or woe, where'er he go,
My heart shall ne'er depart him fro-
Balow, la-low!

But do not, do not, pretty mine,
To faynings false thy heart incline!
Be loyal to thy lover true,
And never change her for a new:
If good or fair, of her have care
For women's banning's wondrous sare-
Balow, la-low!

Bairn, by thy face I will beware;
Like Sirens' words, I'll come not near;
My babe and I together will live;
He'll comfort me when cares do grieve.
My babe and I right soft will lie,
And ne'er respect man's crueltye-
Balow, la-low!

Farewell, farewell, the falsest youth
That ever kist a woman's mouth!
I wish all maids be warn'd by me
Never to trust man's curtesye;
For if we do but chance to bow,
They'll use us then they care not how-
Balow, la-low!

From A. Quiller-Couch,1919 ed., The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250-1900.

Bruce Olson's website had a version in his Scarce Songs 2, as well as a melody, but that site is no longer available. There are broadsides, but I cannot locate them.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ba Low (Balow) , Lullaby
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 11:35 PM

Probably 17th rather than 16th century, according to Simpson (British Broadside Ballad, 31-34): he discounts the earlier, C16 piece attributed to Nicholas Breton as not ancestral (as Ebsworth thought), but instead a separate poem on the same basic subject.

The sole broadside text of the former extant is reprinted in Roxburghe Ballads, VI, 577; Bruce Olson quoted a MS text, plus the two tunes from Simpson (though I can't find the abcs in my copy of the website).

In the 18th century, a form of the song appeared in Scotland, set apparently to a Scottish tune, as Lady Bothwell's Lament. I don't know where Quiller-Couch got his text; perhaps Percy's Reliques, but I'd have to check and unfortunately don't have time at the moment.

I think that Bruce's site will return, but if it doesn't I'll try to post the MS text here at some point, and the two tunes.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ba Low (Balow) , Lullaby
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 08:04 PM

The site has the second tune and some info. (One of the sources was Bruce's site.) You can hear it at the contemplator site by following the links to Scottish Songs / Lady Anne Bothwell's Lament. (The file names often change in order to discourage direct linking to the midis.)

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ba Low (Balow) , Lullaby
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Oct 04 - 03:43 PM

The MS copy in Olson's Scarce Songs 2 is listed as "Palmer's Balow [from Pinkerton MS, 4to p. 48. Not that he printed]"
Not much point in printing the six verses. The first:

Balow my babe, ly still and sleepe!
It grieves me sore to see the weep!
If thow wert quyet, I wold be glade;
Thy murneinge makes thy mother sade!
Balow, my boy, thy mother's joy;
Thy father bred me great annoy!

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ba Low (Balow) , Lullaby
From: keberoxu
Date: 28 Jul 18 - 06:29 PM

The OP contains two different songs, two different lyrics.
It is the second which attracts me to this thread.
Malcolm Douglas, of happy memory,
name-checks Bishop Thomas Percy and his Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, published in 1765
(London: 'printed for J. Dodsley in Pall-Mall').
Percy, the editor of that anthology,
references a folio manuscript in his possession for his source for "Balowe."

And hereby hangs a tale.
What Percy's publication does not disclose,
is that Percy made numerous alterations
to the text of this, as well as other, 'ballads and romances'
before printing them in his anthology.

So this post, and the next from this Mudcat member at this thread,
will offer two versions of the "Balowe" text to readers:
the first,
the well-known version from the 'Reliques' anthology,
representing Bishop Percy's changes and alterations;
and the second, from the scholarly work
Bishop Percy's Folio Manuscript. Ballads and Romances,
published in 1867 - 1868(London: N. Trübner & Co.),
with annotation and research by such scholars as
John W. Hales and Frederick J. Furnivall of Cambridge University,
and Francis James Child of Harvard University.

Lady Bothwell's Lament. A Scottish Song.
Percy's remarks say:
"In the Editor's folio MS., whence this song is printed,
it is simply intitled BALOWE."

Balow, my babe, ly stil and sleipe!
It grieves me sair to see thee weipe:
If thoult be silent, Ile be glad,
Thy maining maks my heart ful sad.
Balow, my boy, thy mither's joy,
Thy father breides me great annoy.

Balow, my babe, ly stil and sleipe,
It grieves me sair to see thee weipe.   

When he began to court my luve,
And with his sugred words to muve,
His faynings false, and flattering cheire
To me that time did not appeire:
But now I see, most cruell hee
Cares neither for my babe nor mee. CHORUS

Ly stil, my darling, sleipe a while,
And when thou wakest, sweetly smile:
But smile not, as thy father did,
To cozen maids: nay God forbid!
But yett I feire, thou wilt gae niere
Thy fatheris hart and face to beire.   CHORUS

I cannae chuse, but ever wil
Be luving to thy father stil:
Whair-eir he gaes, whair-eir he ryde,
My luve with him maun stil abyde:
In weil or wae, whair-eir he gae,
Mine hart can neire depart him frae. CHORUS

Bot doe not, doe not, prettie mine,
To faynings fals thine hart incline;
Be loyal to thy luver trew,
And nevir change hir for a new;
If gude or faire, of hir hae care,
For womens banning's wonderous sair. CHORUS

Bairne, sin thy cruel father is gane,
Thy winsome smiles maun eise my paine;
My babe and I'll together live,
He'll comfort me whan cares doe greive:
My babe and I right saft will ly,
And quite forgeit man's cruelty. CHORUS

Fareweil, fareweil, thou falsest youth,
That evir kist a womans mouth!
I wish all maides be warned by mee
Nevir to trust mans curtesy:
For if we doe but chance to bow,
They'le use us than they care nae how. CHORUS

-- from Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, Volume the Second, Book II. Appears in Ancient Songs and Ballads, pages 194 - 196.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ba Low (Balow) , Lullaby
From: keberoxu
Date: 28 Jul 18 - 07:00 PM


Balow, my babe, lye still & sleepe!
itt greeues me sore to see thee weepe.
[when thou art merry, I am glad;
thy weepinge makes my hart full sad.]
balowe my boy, thy mothers joy,
thy ffather breeds me great anoy.

ba-low, la-low, la-la-la, ra-low,
fa-la, la-la, la-la, la-la-la, la-low!

When he began to court my loue,
& with his sugred words me moue,
his ffaynings false & fflattering cheere
to me that time did not appeare;
but now I see most cruellye
he cares neither for my babe nor mee.   CHORUS

Lye still my darling, sleepe awhile,
& when thou wakest thoule sweetly smile
but smile not as thy father did,
to cozen maids: nay, god forbid!
but yett I feare thou wilt goe neere,
thy fathers hart & face to beare.   CHORUS

I cannott chuse, but euer will
be louing to thy father still;
where-ere he goes, where-ere he ryds,
my loue with him doth still abyde;
in weale or woe, where-ere he goe,
my hart shall neere depart him ffroe.   CHORUS

But doe not, doe not, pretty mine,
to ffaynings false thy hart incline.
be loyall to thy louer true,
& neuer change her ffor a new.
if good or faire, of her haue care,
ffor womens baninge is wonderous sare.   CHORUS

Bearne, by thy face I will be ware;
like Sirens words Ile not come neere;
my babe & I together will liue;
heele comfort me when cares doe greeue;
my babe & I right soft will lye,
& neere respect mans crueltye. CHORUS

ffarwell, ffarwell, the falsest youth
that euer kist a womans mouth!
I wish all maids be warned by mee,
neere to trust mans curtesye;
for if wee doe but chance to bowe,
theyle vse vs then, they care not how.   CHORUS

--from Bishop Percy's Folio Manuscript. Ballads and Romances, Vol. III. pages 522 - 523.

The manuscript is missing, in the first verse, the couplet in brackets.
The words in the brackets preceding come from
the John Gamble manuscript book dated 1649 A.D.

Bishop Percy's manuscript gives no proper name
such as Lady Ann Bothwell.
This manuscript is guessed to be from about 1650 A.D. according to the editors.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ba Low (Balow) , Lullaby
From: keberoxu
Date: 29 Jul 18 - 03:09 PM

Anyone impatient with scholarly commentary and dissension
about written, manuscript, or published source material,
may stop reading here.

The "Balowe" lament has several pages of commentary in
Bishop Percy's Folio Manuscript. Ballads and Romances.
Some of it is tedious, some of it is lively.

"This exquisite song is given in the Reliques from the [Bishop Thomas Percy's] Folio,
'corrected with another [copy] in Allan Ramsay's [Tea-Table] Miscellany,' and of course touched up
by Percy himself without notice, Scottified throughout."   -- John W. Hales.

Mr. Chappell (first initial W.) volunteered his own opinion,
quoted in the commentary by Hales.

"Baloo is a sixteenth-century ballad, not a seventeenth.
Baloo was so popular a subject that it was printed as a street ballad,
with additional stanzas.
It has been reprinted in that form in Old Ballads, Historical and Narrative (Evans).
The title is
'The New Balow; Or, A Wenches Lamentation for the Loss of her Sweetheart:
he having left her a babe to play with, being the fruits of her folly.'

"The particular honour of having been the 'wench' in question
was first claimed for 'Lady Anne Bothwel'
in Part iii of Comic and Serious Scots Poems,
published by Watson in Edinburgh in 1713.
Since that date Scotch antiquaries have been very busy
in searching into the scandalous history of the Bothwell family,
to find out which of the Lady Annes might have been hulla-balooing.

"May we not release the whole race from this imputation?
The sole authority for the charge is Watson's Collection!   --
the same book that ascribes to the unfortunate Montrose
the song of 'My dear and only love, take heed', and tacks it as a second part
to his 'My dear and only love, I pray.'
Shade of Montrose! how must you be ashamed of your over-zealous advocate!
Let us examine whether the spirit of 'Lady Ann Bothwel' has more reason to be grateful.[...]
There is not a Scotch word, nor even one peculiar to the north of England,
in the whole of Watson's version....The acumen of Scotch antiquaries
has rarely been exercised against claims
that have once been put forth for Scotland.
Such matters are left to us lazy Southrons to find out."

-- pages 518 - 520, Volume III, Bishop Percy's Folio Manuscript

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